Many modern BitTorrent clients have a search function. In many cases, this feature is semi-hidden, like in qBittorrent, which we’ll be using for this guide. Or you need to take extra steps to unleash its full potential.
So let’s see how you can extend and use qBittorrent’s search functionality. In this way, you will be able to search directly through qBittorrent for what you want to locate and download it with just one click. Well, not so simple, it’s a double click.
Problems with magnet links
Although BitTorrent is a decentralized peer-to-peer network where users exchange data, it still has a weak central point. In fact, there are many more such points: these are the sites where users search for so-called “magnet links”.
“Magnetic links” are small sets of data that “tell” the BitTorrent client a torrent’s name, content, and potential locations to initiate its download. Unfortunately, it’s a great idea ruined by hacking and malicious users.
Luckily nowadays you don’t have to visit such sites. Instead, you can use the search function that comes with your BitTorrent client. Especially in the case of qBittorrent, you can extend it with plugins that can search the databases of many popular sites.
If you prefer to stick with sites, be sure to check out our article on underground torrent sites for uncensored content.
How to search for content from qBittorrent
qBittorrent supports search out of the box, but the feature is not enabled. Thus, it is justified that many people are unaware of its very existence. To use qBittorrent search:
- Run the application and expand it See menu. Select Search engine.
- qBitTorrent relies on Python for its research. If you have never installed the popular programming language before, qBittorrent will prompt you to download the required files. Respond positively.
- The Python installer is independent of qBittorrent, so you’ll have to divert your attention to it. Proceed with its installation as with any other application. However, in this case, it is better to keep the default values suggested by the installer.
You will probably need to close and relaunch qBittorrent to activate its search functionality.
Where are the qBitTorrent search plugins?
After enabling qBitTorrent’s search function, you may find that it is somewhat limited. The app’s creators know that BitTorrent remains popular (and relevant) thanks to its users. So instead of trying to improve the search themselves, they “opened the doors” so that anyone interested can extend it with their own plugins.
This means that “qBittorrent’s search function extension” is done via unofficial plugins. However, it is the official way to do it. The app itself will direct you to this page with unofficial qBittorrent search plugins on GitHub, from which you can add any you want to qBittorrent, as we will see next.
Adding downloaded search plugins to qBitTorrent
qBittorrent’s search plugins are Python files (and the reason why you had to install Python earlier). You can download them locally before installing them, but “pulling” them directly from the web is easier. To do this:
- Visit qBittorrent Look for tongue.
- Click on the Search plug-ins button at the bottom right of the window. If you haven’t visited the page we mentioned in the previous section, click the link at the bottom of the Find Plugins window to open it with your default browser.
- Scroll down this page to find a list of available plugins. You will find a link for each in the fifth column of the list table, next to their date. Right-click on it and choose your browser’s function to copy this link to the clipboard (on Chrome it’s Copy link address; on Firefox, a shortcut Copy link).
- Back on qBitTorrent, click the Install a new button at the bottom left of the Search plug-ins the window.
- You will be presented with two options. If you downloaded the plugins locally, choose local file and select the one you want to install. If you copied a plugin’s link to the clipboard, as we suggested, choose web link In place. Paste the copied URL into the empty requestor field that will appear and click OK.
- After a second or two of checking the URL, downloading and installing the script, you will see it appear in qBittorrent Search plugins installed listing. Repeat the process as many times as you want to add more plugins and further expand qBittorrent’s search horizons.
How to use your new search plugins
Locating torrents should be trivial after adding a few plugins to qBittorrent. It’s as simple as:
- Move to the Look for tab, enter a term for what you are looking for in the search bar and press enter.
- If you are looking for multiple files, you don’t need to search for them one after the other. You can instead run a separate search for each. The results of each of your queries will be displayed in a separate tab. They will present the results of everything the search plugins you have installed. To search using only a specific plugin, choose it from the plugins menu (it’s the one that shows an “All plugins” entry by default) before searching.
You can double-click any result to add it to qBittorrent’s download list. To select multiple entries, use CTRL or Shift.
It works the same as in other applications (like Windows Explorer) to choose an individual entry or a range of entries. Then right-click on any of them to find the option to download them (among others).
qBittorrent search plugins: simpler, but not perfect
Using qBitTorrent’s search function to locate what to download is undoubtedly easier than visiting individual sites. Yet, it also comes with some drawbacks. First, it will not always show all the files you find on such a site. Second, you may not see exact numbers for all available download sources in qBitTorrent as soon as you add a file.
Every search function seems to be looking for clues that a file exists in your existing network of BitTorrent nodes. These are the users your qBitTorrent client has connected to or “knows about” through its Peer Exchange network.
That’s why eagle-eyed readers might have noticed that our search for the Big Buck Bunny video made by Blender returned many results, but each showed only one “seeder”. After adding one of these files to qBitTorrent’s download list and letting the app search for more sources, the torrent started to look “healthier”. Soon he had finished downloading.
Yet there’s something even easier than searching for any torrent you want: getting them to come to you instead! For that, see our guide on using RSS to automatically download torrents.
Keep your torrent safe
By not relying on sites for magnet links, you can avoid questionable content on many of them. However, it can also be the other way around: by searching for content, you ‘ping’ other users for it. You don’t get it from a trustworthy site whose managers could guarantee the quality of the links they provide.
So, you can enjoy searching, searching and downloading torrents with a single (but double) click, but stay alert. Check everything you download. Avoid blindly running or opening the files you download. Keep an antivirus running and only download content that is precisely what you are looking for and, more importantly, is legal.